Who has the time to plan in advance and to create elaborate menus? Not me, that’s for sure. The 4th of July weekend is coming up, and I have yet to do any menu planning and to buy any ingredients. Having an infant around has made things harder and less organized for me on the kitchen front. Nowadays, it’s all about the baby – and so it should be. 🙂
I know I won’t get the chance to prepare as many dishes as I did last year. I will most likely focus on burgers and I will make a few of my family’s favorites.
Being a household of carnivores, we love burgers and we make them often. We also like to experiment with ground meat, whose versatility makes it an excellent protein in a variety of dishes, from moussaka to chili and from meatballs to shepherd’s pie. Not all of our meat experiments are a success; however, there are a few we enjoy making again and again – such as the burgers below.
The jalapeno, cilantro and green onion burger will definitely be on our 4th of July menu. Chock-full of personality, this fierce burger marries the heat of the jalapeno with the freshness of the green onion and cilantro to create a harmony of flavors my husband thoroughly enjoys. I use one finely chopped jalapeno per lb of meat, but you can use less – or more! – to suit your preferences. We eat this burger with salsa verde poured over it – the more, the merrier 🙂
The red pepper, olive and parmesan burger is my favorite. I think red bell pepper adds a delightful sweet note to this burger, which also takes on the earthly flavor of the kalamata olives. Both ingredients are balanced out and enhanced by the mediating presence of the shredded parmesan cheese.
When I first made this burger I wanted to sauté the pepper, but in the end I decided against it. I wanted the pepper to be raw because I needed a crunchy texture element. I serve this burger with sliced red onion and cucumber – both crunchy, refreshing and flavorful.
The stuffed blue cheese burger with a parsley & parmesan coating is another burger favorite of ours. Strangely enough, I have found that the robust flavors of blue cheese and parmesan go well together if used in moderate quantities. Add the cheerfully refreshing notes of parsley into the mix, and the combination is nothing to be afraid of – on the contrary: it makes for a very tasty burger.
For a Greek-inspired burger, we go for a feta cheese and dill burger served with kalamata olives on the side. My mom has always used copious amounts of dill in her cooking, and I grew up loving the flavor of this rather undervalued herb. Unsurprisingly then, I use a lot of dill in this burger (too much, according to my husband, lol) along with finely crumbled feta cheese. Cheese and dill – what a joy!
These burgers, in which I combine culinary elements from both my past and my present, deliver a lot of flavor and don’t require a lot of preparation. Quality ground beef, a few fresh ingredients, some cheese – and our meal is ready 🙂
Have a happy and safe 4th of July!